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Ranking jump a reward for solid seasons

by Shawn P. Roarke

Defensemen Adam Comrie of the OHL's Saginaw Spirits, jumped in rank from No. 81 to No. 44.
A number of players made huge jumps in their ranking position when Thursday's final ranking of North American draft-eligible prospects was released by NHL Central Scouting. Here's a look at some of the biggest gainers:

Derek Grant, Langley, BCHL -- The biggest mover among the top 60 players in the final North American rankings, Grant jumped from No. 106 at the mid-term period to No. 40 in Thursday's final rankings. The center was an in-season revelation for the Chiefs, going from third- and fourth-line duty to playing on a top line with fellow prospect Taylor Stefishen, who is ranked No. 84. Said one scout; "He's got so much potential ahead of him that he might be better than (Camrose center Joe) Colborne." Colborne is ranked No. 28.

Daultan Leveille, St. Catharines, GHL -- Leveille has become the darling of the draft after tearing apart the Golden Horseshoe League this season. The speedy center had 56 points in 45 regular-season games. But he really came alive in the playoffs, putting up 30 points in 16 games and drawing NHL scouts to a league not known for directly producing players ready for the NHL Entry Draft. That helped him jump from No. 89 to No. 47. Many believe Leveille will go even higher.

Adam Comrie, Saginaw, OHL -- If not for all the high-profile defensemen in front of him, Comrie could have climbed higher. Hailing From Ashburn, Va., Comrie took "The O" by surprise this season. When he was done, he had 10 goals and 18 assists in 58 games. He also finished a plus-17 and accumulated 90 penalty minutes. At 6-foot-4 and 201 pounds, he already is blessed with NHL size. Scouts liked what they saw enough to move him from No. 81 to No. 44.

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Corey Fienhage, Eastview High School, USAHS -- A steady high-school defenseman, Fienhage has done everything right this season. He managed to put up 12 points in 24 games with Eastview and was more than solid in his own end. As a result, he was one of 10 finalists for Minnesota's Mr. Hockey award. At the conclusion of his high-school season, Fienhage joined the Indiana Ice (USHL) and did not look out of place. Consequently, the University of North Dakota recruit jumped 25 places to No. 36 on the final ranking list.

Matthew Calvert, Brandon, WHL -- Scouts appear to be holding Calvert's size – 5-9, 175 – less and less against this left winger. Why? Well, first of all, he jumped 21 spots from the mid-term rankings to his final-ranking destination at No. 24. Scoring, it seems, does that trick. Calvert, a rookie with the Wheat Kings, was dominant against older, stronger and bigger opponents. He finished an impressive inaugural campaign with 24 goals and 40 assists to put him in the picture to possibly be taken at the tail end of the first round.

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